My Dog Huey: Expert Napper
I am a 20+ year insomniac, and my struggle with the elusive lady known as Sleep has been arduous, fraught with pitfalls, and sadly, many failures. And thus, many a lonely and miserable night has been had by yours truly. Over the years, I have had greater and sometimes much lesser degrees of success battling this horrible condition, but now I can say I am pretty darned sure I have beat the beast. Fingers crossed.
It hasn’t been easy, but I can boast more nights with restful sleep in the last six months than in the last 20 years of my life. But like a PTSD war-vet, even if I am afraid to say the ordeal is over, I hesitantly say it may well be. If you struggle with sleep in any way, whether it is falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early, or any combination of the above, these tips may be of use to you. I will not include prescription or over the counter sleep medications, though they do serve their purpose in emergencies. (If you do choose any sleep medications, please, for the love of all things holy, do not text, email, or call anyone while on Ambien. Take my word. You say the weirdest things.)
There have been a lot of improvements to my life this year and I know these things without a doubt have helped my sleep. So here is my list of helpful products, practices, and tips for restful, healthy sleep. The more sleep we get, the better our health, so please don’t take sleeping for granted. Take it from someone who has chased it for years.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night if you can.
2. Cut caffeine by 2pm. No exceptions.
3. Exercise early in the day. Evening exercise can hamper sleep.
4. Take Melatonin and Valerian together at about a 1/2 hour before bedtime. Minimum 5mg Melatonin, 450mg Valerian. I take three capsules each at bedtime and have no side effects. Both are very safe and for me, highly effective.
5. Meditate. I know I mention meditation a lot, and there is a very good reason. Because it works. In all aspects of my life. Especially sleep.
6. Eat healthy foods: avoid fatty fried foods, sugar, preservatives, pesticides, and the like.
7. Stop drinking alcohol at least 2 hours before bedtime.
8. Drink plenty of water during your day. Don’t drink much before bed unless you like going pee all night.
9. Find joy, happiness, and bliss. Spend tons of time with friends. Fall in love. Snuggle your puppy. Laugh often. Naturally increase your oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin levels any way you can. Get tons of hugs, kisses, and support from the people and pets in your life.
10. Find calming images or mantras to say to yourself as you fall asleep. And above all, be patient with yourself and your racing mind. Try to find ways to soothe and still your thoughts.
I hope this helps you. May you have good dreams.
- Simply Sleepy: Snooze with Natural Remedies (plushbeds.com)
- Melatonin sleep aid effectiveness (melatonindosage.wordpress.com)